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Plants for employee health and wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of your organisation’s employees is becoming increasingly important if you are in a business that wants to not only survive in today’s economic climate but wants to be successful.

Proactive Works, an organisation that specialises in helping businesses deal with absenteeism and presenteeism issues said:

 “Having healthy staff is an essential part of running a healthy business.” 

According to The Wellbeing Project (Europe) Limited a company that specialises in employee wellbeing initiatives and who offer a free well-being audit :

“If your employees are in robust physical and mental health, feel happy in their work and are well supported by managers and leaders, they will be more engaged, more motivated, more productive, more resilient, less prone to absenteeism and more likely to stay with your business for longer.” 

What we do know is that organisations who do not take adequate care of the health and wellbeing of their employees have a higher risk of increased costs associated with health claims, lack of productivity, poor customer service, absenteeism, etc. This reduces profits and can be very damaging for any organisation.

So, does the additional cost of initiatives to improve employee health and wellbeing really translate into actual bottom line profits?
The answer is Yes! The Work Foundation concluded that

“for every £1 invested in wellbeing initiatives, businesses get a return of £3”!

So, having established that investing in the health and wellbeing of your employees is likely to have a very positive impact on the profitability of your organisation, the question then arises; What is the most effective way to do this?

There are many initiatives that can be implemented – here are just a few examples:

  • Cycle to work schemes
  • In-house gym or discounted gym memberships
  • Office refurbishment
  • Interior planting scheme
  • Provision of free fresh fruit
  • Background music or sounds of nature
  • Work-life balance and work-from-home schemes

One very effective option is the introduction of interior planting throughout the workplace. Office spaces and break-out areas can all be enhanced quickly, effectively and economically with plant displays.

Not only does the introduction of beautiful, designer planting instantly enhance the visual appearance of your premises but it actually helps create a healthier working environment.

A complete transformation of your workplace can be enacted in just an hour or two with the introduction of plant displays designed to suit your premises. This has a huge advantage over any office refurbishment project which can take weeks or months to complete and can often require major transition plans, disruption to workflow and can be quite stressful in the meantime. Additionally, the cost of planting is only a fraction of a refurbishment project.

Installing real living plants in your office environment also provides a number of health benefits for your organisation’s employees. Plants have been proved to:

Remove harmful toxins from the air
• Increase oxygen and remove carbon dioxide
• Raise humidity levels
• Provide acoustic softening
• Reduce VDU eye-strain
• Reduce stress
• Create Biophilic attributes
• Increase productivity, creativity and satisfaction
• Reduce sick leave

You can find out more about these benefits here.

The introduction of plants for employee health and wellbeing is very easy to implement too. A skilled design consultant will go through every stage of the process with you to ensure the final scheme fits perfectly with your ideas, goals, budgets and timescales. And you’ll find the whole process is very enjoyable, interesting and satisfying!

Living wall panels filled with plant life on castors to divide and separate open plan space in a modern office space
A green wall bursting with greenery lit by spotlights with an inset office directory at a reception space
Sansevieria plants in modern tall slim grey planters flank a doorway in a bright corridor office space
Orange and white gloss planters of varying heights with mixed live planting draped over the top to soften
Artificial foliage planted in wooden troughs incorporated into a timber divider wall in a modern office breakout area
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Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died

There are many things that influence our impression about a person, company or service and some of these might seem totally unrelated.

The late Erma Bombeck, an American humorist writer from Dayton, Ohio (1927-1996) famously coined this expression which typifies how a small detail can totally alter our view of something or someone.

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died”

When I go to see a doctor I would rarely consider his/her qualifications, generally don’t question the diagnosis and usually take any medication prescribed even if my condition is completely misdiagnosed and the medication is totally wrong. Why? Because he/she is a Doctor and I’m not.

What else makes me trust a person or organisation?

There are other subconscious factors that give me this unquestioning confidence. These are things like how clean and tidy and organised the practice is. Fresh paint, good lighting, gentle background music and the quiet hubbub of efficient secretaries and staff all contribute to my feeling of being in the hands of a professional and caring organisation.

The opposite is also true. Should the waiting area be dingy, dirty and cold and home to some dying, unloved plants, I would begin to question whether this doctor is going to really care about me. I certainly wouldn’t be recommending him/her to my friends!

Take a look at your own premises.

What impression do you think your visitors receive about your organisation? Is it the impression you want them to get?

Ask the same question on behalf of your staff. What impression do they get of the organisation they work for? Is it one that takes care of their employees? Are they receiving the right messages?

What can you do about it?

There are fundamental housekeeping tasks that any organisation can and should be doing to keep the premises properly maintained, clean, tidy and organised. There are also some other simple things that can be done to ensure your visitors and staff get the impression of your organisation that you want them to have.

Office Plant Displays

If you have any plant displays inside or outside your premises, make sure that they are healthy, attractive and well-maintained. A simple, inexpensive maintenance contract can be obtained from a reliable, dedicated plantscaping company to ensure any planting you have looks attractive, well cared for and vibrant.

If you don’t have any plant displays, I would definitely recommend that you get some. Installing some beautiful, lush plants in designer containers expertly positioned in your premises can make such a difference and totally transform the impression your organisation is portraying.

It’s easy and quick to organise. Invite an experienced, specialist plantscaping company to come in and carry out a free survey of your premises and put their recommendations together for you. They should be able to provide you with images and visuals to help you understand how the new scheme will look and then, when you’re ready to proceed, you can normally expect to have your chosen planting scheme installed within only a few weeks.

Don’t forget to take out a maintenance contract! No organisation can afford to be seen as the company whose office plants have died!

A living wall including a variety of live plants is set in a timber surround to create a stunning reception backdrop